"Voices for Independence:
In the Spirit of Valor and Sacrifice"

Portraits of Notable Individuals in the 
Struggle for Puerto Rican Independence

by Jean Zwickel


White Star Press

Pittsburg, California, U.S.
E-mail: WhiteStar@PeaceHost.net


Printing history:

First printing (English) 1988
Second printing (Spanish) 1991
Third printing (English) 1993
Electronic publication (English & Spanish) March, 1998
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photo-copying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN 0-9620448-0-6

Typesetting, printing & binding by DanielGraphics/LegalEagle

Webpage constructed and typeset by Daniel Beck Zwickel-Wicks

Copyright 1988, 1993, 1998 by White Star Press



This WebPage is a work-in-progress. It's very time-consuming, so I appreciate your patience.
Last update:  Thursday, November 7, 2002

Consider this shareware. You may download it and copy and distribute it as you wish. Please remember, however, that a great deal of money went into publishing this book. If you wish to read it, please send a contribution ($5.00 (U.S.) suggested, check made out to Jean Zwickel) to: White Star Press at: 2150 Goff Avenue, Pittsburg, California 94565 U.S. Thank you - Daniel


If you care to, you may listen to Astol Felix’s “La Borinqueña” (RealPlayer- enabled) while you browse, courtesy of Music of Puerto Rico.


Areas Controlled by the United States

 
1. Communications
2. Banking
3. Port
4. the Environment 
5. Currency
6. Social Security
7. Immigration
8. Travel
9. Internal security
10. Emigration
11. Military service
12. Postal system
13. Judicial system
14. Transportation
15. Foreign relations
—Ecumenical Committee for the Future of Puerto Rico

Voices from the Past...

When a long train of abuses and usurpations threaten to bring that people under Absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such a government.
—Declaration of Independence
If it were possible to open the heart of every Puerto Rican and if it were possible to see the collective soul of the million human beings who inhabit this forgotten rock, we would see there written in indelible letters the word "independence".
—Luis Muñoz Marín
first elected govenor of Puerto Rico
Only Anglo-Saxons can govern themselves.... It is the Anglo-Saxon manifest destiny to go forth as a world conqueror. He will take possession of the islands of the sea.... This is what fate holds for the chosen people.
—William Allen White, Emporia Gazette
God Himself never made a race of people so low in the scales of civilization that it welcomes a foreign master.
—William Jennings Bryan
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.
—Thomas Jefferson

...and from the Present...

[Apologies—I haven't gotten a chance to translate this yet;
thanks for your patience.
—the Editor]
"... su maravilloso libro está haciendo furor entre nosotros como conocimiento de las raices profundas de la lucha, dignidad e Independencia de Puerto Rico, porque muchas veces se cree en nuestro medio que Puerto Rico está totalmente absorbido por el Imperio Norteamericano. Pero nosotros que vivimos en esa bella isla de Borinquen sabemos que no es así. Por eso su libro es un texto pedagógico y una cartilla de enseñanza y motivación de la grandeza y la lucha del indómito Pueblo Puertorriqueño."
—The Right Rev. Tito Mora, Bishop
Episcopal Church of Columbia
This book is a refreshing addition to the growing number of voices calling for peace, justice and independence.
— Matt Meyer, National Chairperson, War Resisters League
Voices for Independence is a fine collection of biographical sketches of a wide range of proponents of Puerto Rican independence. The author seems to have captured in good fashion the spirit, shape and substance of the independence movement through these portraits of representative figures of that movement.
The book reflects her long interest in and commitment to the cause of the independentistas, but the passion of the convinced is expressed in reasoned, restrained and persuasive fashion.
Voices for Independence is a vital and valuable introduction to an important movement and a crucial issue.
—Richard Chartier, Baptist minister,
former United Methodist missionary to Argentina,
and editor Fellowship magazine
The Peacemaker newsletter, beginning with its inception in the late forties, has been sympathetic from its nonviolent perspective to the anti-colonial struggle of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Fortunately, the newsletter has benefited over the years from the regular reports of Jean Zwickel, a close observer of and participant in the Puerto Rican scene who shares The Peacemaker's nonviolent orientation. I look forward to her Voices as a book to be trusted to give us the human side of a much misunderstood political movement.
—Paul Encimer, editor The Peacemaker
Jean Zwickel has performed a valuable service by chronicling the many and varied voices for liberation in Puerto Rico. These are the voices all too seldom heard by those of us on the mainland—those of us who forget that the United States, just as much as the states of Europe, has a history of colonial oppression.
—Rev. Dr. David Sammons,
Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universlaist Church,
Walnut Creek, California
These well-written essays help the reader enter into the complexities and premises of the liberation struggle in Puerto Rico, and to dwar lessons from those encounters that should be useful eslewhere.
—Rev. Robert McAfee Brown,
Pacific School of Religion,
Berkeley, California

And the esteemed Columbian poet, Sicomoro Zon wrote the following homage to "Grandmother Jean":

[Apologies, again—I've just got this in Spanish.
Wait 'til I get a good translation & thanks again for your patience.

—the Editor]

Dedicado a la Abuela Jean

Suenan las campanas
vuelven a sonar,
todas las mañanas
para ir a rezar...

La Abuelita anciana
marcha hacia el altar,
porque buena y sana
quiere a Dios llegar.

Ya la marcha es lenta
porque por la edad
no puede avanzar,

mas la nieta atenta,
buena de verdad,
la ayuda a llegar...

Sicomoro Zon


[Apologies one more time—
somewhere we have the original English text
and as soon as I find it I'll get it in here.
Meanwhile, why not have a go at it
if you've got the chops (musician slang, sorry 'bout that.)

—the Editor

RESOLUCION 1514 (XV)

APROBADA POR LA ASAMBLEA GENERAL
DE LAS NACIONES UNIDAS
EL 14 DE DICIEMBRE DE 1960

La Asamblea General,

Teniendo presente que todos los pueblos del mundo han proclamado en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas que están resueltos a reafirmar la fe en los derechos fundamentales del hombre, en la dignidad y el valor de la persona humana, en la igualdad de derechos de hombres y mujeres y de las naciones grandes y pequeñas, y a promover el progreso social y a elevar el nivel de vida dentro de un concepto más amplio de libertad,

Conscientes de la necesidad de crear condiciones de estabilidad y bienestar y relaciones pacíficas y amistosas basadas en el respeto de los principios de igualdad de derechos y de la libre determinación de todos los pueblos, y de asegurar el respeto universal de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales para todos sin hacer distinción por motivos de raza, sexo, idioma o religión, y la efectividad de tales derechos y libertades,

Reconociendo el apasionado deseo de libertad que abrigan todos los pueblos dependientes y el papel decisivo de dichos pueblos en el logro de su independencia,

Conscientes de los crecientes conflictos que origina el hecho de negar la libertad a esos pueblos o de impedirla, lo cual constituye una grave amenaza a la paz mundial,

Considerando el importante papel que corresponde a las Naciones Unidas como medio de favorecer el movimiento en pro de la independencia en los territorios en fideicomiso y en los territorios no autónomos,

Reconociendo que los pueblos del mundo desean ardientemente el fin del colonialismo en todas sus manifestaciones

Convencida de que la continuación del colonialismo impide el desarrollo de la cooperación económica internacional, entorpece el desarrollo social, cultural y económico de los pueblos dependientes y milita en contra del ideal de paz universal de las Naciones Unidas,

Afirmado que los pueblos pueden, para sus propios fines, disponer libremente de sus riquezas y recursos naturales sin perjuicio de las obligaciones resultantes de la cooperación económica internacional, basada en el principio del derecho mutuo y del derecho internacional,

Creyendo que el proceso de liberación es irresistible e irreversible y que, a fin de evitar crisis graves, es preciso poner fin al colonialismo y a todas las practicas de segregación y discriminación que lo acompañan,

Celebrando que en los últimos años muchos territorios dependientes hayan alcanzado la libertad y la independencia, y reconociendo las tendencias cada vez más poderosas hacia la libertad que se manifiestan en los territorios que no han obtenido aún la independencia.

Convencida de que todos los pueblos tienen un derecho inalienable a la libertad absoluta, al ejercicio de su soberanía y a la integridad de su territorio nacional,

Proclama solemnemente la necesidad de poner fin rápida e incondicionalmente al colonialismo en todas sus formas y manifestaciones; y a dicho efecto declara que:

1. La sujeción de pueblos a una subyugación dominación y explotación extranjeras constituye una denegración de los derechos humanos fundamentales, es contraria a la Carta de las Naciones Unidads y compromete la causa de las paz y de la cooperación mundiales.

2. Todos los pueblos tienen el derecho de libre determinación; en virtud de ese derecho, determinan libremente su condición política y persiguen libremente su desarrollo económico, social y cultural.

3. La falta de preparación en el orden político, económico, social y educativo no deberá servir nunca de pretexto para retrasar la independencia.

4. A fin de que los pueblos dependientes puedan ejercer pacífica y libremente su derecho a la independencia completa, deberá cesar toda acción armada o toda medida represiva de cualquier índole dirigida contra ello, y deberá respetarse la integridad de su territorio nacional.

5. En los territorios en fideicomiso y no autónomos y en todos los demás territorios que no han logrado aún su independencia, deberán tomarse inmediatamente medidas para traspasar todos los poderes a los pueblos de esos territorios, sin condiciones ni reservas, en conformidad con su voluntad y sus derechos libremente expresados y sin distinción de raza, credo, ni color, para permitirles gozar una libertad y una independendcia absoluta.

6. Todo intento a quebrantar total o parcialmente la unidad nacional y la integridad territorial de un pais es incompatible con los propósitos y principios de la Carta de la Naciones Unidas.

7. Todos los Estados deberán observar fiel y estrictamente las disposiciones de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, de la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos y de la presente Declaración sobre la base de la igualdad, de la no intervención en los asuntos internos de los demás Estados y del respeto de los derechos soberanos de todos los pueblos y de su integridad territorial.


From the House of Representatives
of the United States Congress

H.J.RES.218

"Self-determination for Puerto Rico"

Whereas the move toward the elimination of colonialism in all parts of the world is now irreversible; and

Whereas this is in full accord with the commitment of the people of the United States in the Declaration of Independence of 1776 to the principle that all colonial peoples had the inalienable right to self-determination and the right to assume their place as sovereign states among the nations of the world, as well as the mandate of the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States that the status of inferiority for any people be forthwith abolished; and

Whereas the practices of the United States with respect to Puerto Rico have been developed in open contradiction to the principles upon which this Nation was founded, as was stated by Mr. Justice Harlan in his dissenting opinion in the Insular Cases, Downes versus Bidwell (1901), "The idea that this country may acquire territories anywhere upon the Earth by conquest or treaty, and hold them as mere colonies or provinces—the people inhabiting them to enjoy only such rights as Congress chooses to accord to them—is wholly inconsistent with the spirit and genius, as well as with the words of the Constitution;" Now therefore, be it

Resolved,...

TRANSFER OF POWERS

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress of the United States to comply with the sovereign rights of the people of Puerto Rico and its adjacent islands, as defined in the Treaty of Paris of December 1898, and therefore the sovereign rights of the People of Puerto Rico to freely decide their political status without any intervention whatsoever of any government and/or force foreign to said people. It is hereby further declared to be the policy of the Congress of the United States that this process of self-determination should comply with the requirements adopted by the United Nations in its charter and in the several resolutions and decisions concerning decolonization specifically relating to Puerto Rico.

It is further declared hereby that the United States of America recognizes that Puerto Rico constitutes a full-fledged Latin American nation, that in accordance with the American heritage of respect to the integrity and full sovereignty of all nations, the process of decolonization of Puerto Rico should follow the principles developed by the United Nations after the approval, twenty years ago, of the historic declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.

[Portion of resolution introduced by Congressman Ronald Dellums March 31, 1987]

From the Committee on Decolonization
of the United Nations

Resolution

[UNITED NATIONS] SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE SITUATION WITH REGARD TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES

Resolution adopted by the Special Committee
at its 132nd meeting on 11 August 1987:

The Special Committee,

Recalling the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960,

Having examined the report of the Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the implementation of the resolutions concerning Puerto Rico,

Recalling the resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee concerning Puerto Rico and, in particular, the resolutions adopted in August of 1984, 1985, and 1986,

Conscious of the growing importance for the peoples and nations of Latin America of affirming their unity and cultural identity,

Recognizing the clearly Latin American character and identity of the people and culture of Puerto Rico,

Noting the widespread concern about the recent revelations, confirmed by judicial decisions and by statements of the current Administration of the Territory, that for decades there has been a systematic practice of discrimination and official persecution directed against tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who support independence, in flagrant violation of their civil and political rights,

Bearing in mind the declarations concerning Puerto Rico adopted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries at their Eighth Conference of Heads of State or Government, held at Harare [Zimbabwe] from 1 to 6 September, 1986 and at their Special Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau on Latin America and the Caribbean, held at Georgetown [British Guiana] from 9 to 12 March, 1987,

Having listened to the statements of the representatives of the various trends of Puerto Rican public opinion, of the social and cultural organizations of Puerto Rico and of the representatives of political parties, social organizations and eminent Latin Americans,

  1. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December, 1960, and the full applicability of the fundamental principles of that resolution with respect to Puerto Rico;
  2. Expresses its hope, and that of the international community, that the people of Puerto Rico may exercise without hindrance its right to self-determination, with the express recognition of the people's sovereignty and full political equality, in conformity with paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV);
  3. Requests the Rapporteur to present a report to the Special Committee on the implementation of its resolutions concerning Puerto Rico;
  4. Decides to keep the question of Puerto Rico under continuing review.

Acknowledgements

I gratefully acknowledge the following:

Mary Ericsson and Mary Webb, my creative writing teachers, for their instruction and encouragement;

Abe Zwickel, my husband, for his faithful support in the cause of independence;

Daniel Zwickel, my son, for his expertise and long hours at the computer, editing, formatting and proofreading;

Donald White, business associate of Daniel, for his expertise in transferring text from an ancient Commodore CBM 8032 to an IBM XT clone.

And finally, our eleventh-hour savior, Jerome L. Wilski, for, among many other things, retrieving our two and only scrambled data disks from never-never land with ("users" take note:) a Mace Utilities disk (by Paul Mace).

—Jean Wiley Zwickel
Pittsburg, California

Dedication

To a beloved friend and mentor,
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos,
whose spirit continues to spur me on.